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MACRAE-GIBSON 

The Whitley system 
in the civil service, 




FHE WHITLEY SYSTEM 
N THE CIVIL SERVICE 



Bv 



J. H. MACRAE-GIBSON 




London : 

THE FABIAN SOCIETY 

25, Tothill Street, Westminster, S.W. 1 

1922 



PRICE ONE SHILLING 



To .W. M. M-G. 



This work has been published at the expense 
of the Tulloch and Barr Publishing Fund, 
instituted as a Memorial of Lieut. William 
Tulloch and Capt. Hugh "Barr, M.B., 
R.A.M.C., two members of the Fabian 
Society who lost their lives in the Great War. 



THE WHITLEY SYSTEM 
IN THE CIVIL SERVICE 



By 



J. H. MACRAE-GIBSON 




London : 

THE FABIAN SOCIETY 

25, Tothill Street, Westminster, S.W. 1 

1922 



PRICE ONE SHILLING 



In preparing this paper I have been greatly assisted 
by Mr. G. Chase, Staff Side Secretary of the National 
Whitley Council, who read through my MS., and by 
Messrs. R. McC. Beamish, Staff Side Secretary, Ad- 
miralty Council, and W. G. Owen, Staff Side Secre- 
tary of the Post Office Council, who supplied me with 
much information in regard to their respective Depart- 
ments. To all of them my thanks are due. I must 
acknowledge my indebtedness to Sidney Webb, who 
also read the paper in MS., and from whom I received 
many valuable suggestions, some of which I have been 
able to embody in the course of my final revision. 

J. H. M-G. 



The Whitley System in the 
Civil Service 



WHEN in 1917 the Ministry of Labour published 
the " Report of the Departmental Reconstruction 
Committee on the Relations of Employers and 
Employed," 1 it was thought in some quarters that the 

1 This Committee, under the Chairmanship of the Rt. Hon. J. H. 
Whitley, M.P., had been appointed during the War to find some way 
of dealing with the very serious unrest in industry ; this unrest was, 
perhaps, no greater than at other times, but it forced itself on the 
attention of the Government because, owing to the peculiar conditions 
of the time the work-people happened to be almost as strong as their 
employers, and because the conduct of the war depended so much on 
the smooth working of industry. 

In its report, the Committee laid stress on the importance of : 
(a) Adequate organization on the part of employers and employed. 
(6) Greater opportunity of participating in the discussion about 

and adjustment of those parts) of industry by which they are most 

affected, of the work-people in each occupation. 

(c) Subordination of any decisions to those of the Trade Unions 

and Employers' Associations. 

It laid down the subjects to be dealt with as 

1. " Better utilization of the practical knowledge of the workpeople" 
. . . and the securing to them of a greater share in and responsibility 
for the determination and observance of " the conditions under jvhich 
their work is carried on." 

2. " The settlement of general principles governing the conditions 
of employment . . . having regard to the .need for securing to the 
work-people a share in the increased prosperity of the industry." 

3. Methods to be adopted for negotiations, adjusting wages, deter- 
mining differences, and ensuring to the work-people the greatest 
possible security of earnings and employment. 

4. Technical education, industrial research, utilization of inven- 
tions and improvement of processes. 

5. Proposed legislation affecting the industry. 

The Report was adopted by the Goverranemt and was urged on em- 
ployers and work-people alike as the basis for a reorganization of 
industry. Speaking generally, the larger industries such as Agriculture, 
Transport, Mining, Cotton, Engineering and Shipbuilding did not 
respond ; but Whitley Councils were set up in many others, of which 
the chief were : Pottery, House-building, Woollen, Hosiery, Heavy 
Chemicals, Furniture-making, Bread-baking, Match-making, Vehicle- 
building, Electricity supply. 

See Histoty of Trade Unionism, 2nd Ed. 1920. S. and B. Webb, 
pages, 490, 646, etc. Joint Industrial Councils Bulletin, published by 



6 THE WHITLEY SYSTEM 

application of the principles of that Report might inaugu- 
rate a new epoch in industry. Many people hailed the 
coming of what was soon called Whitleyism as a saviour 
from Industrial Anarchy on the one hand and from 
Socialism on the other. In 1922, no one thinks that a 
new epoch in industry has come, and no one really 
thinks that Whitleyism will save industry from any of 
the ills that beset it. Four years have been more than 
enough to destroy the credit of Industrial Whitleyism. 
Yet Whitleyism is still alive and shows signs of vigour, 
not in that industrial system for which it was devised, 
but in an environment that many people declared to be 
wholly unsuitable to its operation. 

In the Civil Service, the Whitley System has taken 
root and has developed an extraordinarily complex or- 
ganization in the short space of a couple of years. It 
is no exaggeration to say that no more elaborate system 
has been devised in the history of Conciliation. For 
this reason alone some examination of Civil Service 
Whitleyism must be of interest to the social student. In 
the course of examination it will be possible to inquire if 
the failure of Industrial Whitleyism is inherent in the 
proposals or if it results from special conditions pecu- 
liar to the modern industrial State. 

Moreover, in the process of examining the working of 
Civil Service Whitleyism, some notion can be gained 
of the possibilities of the movement towards joint control 
of industry and of the difficult constitutional questions 
that must, in practice, arise in the course of any attempt 
to secure that control. Indeed, to the Constitutionalist 
the study of Civil Service Whitleyism is already full of 
interest, while to the State Socialist it provides much 
material for reflection on the working of the State Ser- 
vice so essential to the success of his ideas. 

THE STRUGGLE FOR WHITLEYISM. 

The very struggle for Whitleyism reflected a great 
change in the Civil Service and had important reactions 

Industrial Councils Division, Ministry of Labour. The Whitley Coun- 
cils : the Growth of the Movement, by J. H. Whitley in Employers' 
Year Book, May, 1920, pp. 102-105. " Whitley Committee : first re- 
port of the Committee of the Ministry of Reconstruction on relations 
between the Employers and the Employed " in Labour and Capital 
after the War, edited by Sir Sydney John Chapman. 1918. pp. 273-280. 



IN THE CIVIL SERVICE 7 

on the psychology of Civil Servants. At the time when 
the Government, in pursuit of its general policy of con- 
ciliation, was anxiously pressing the acceptance of the 
Whitley System on Employers and Trade Unionists 
alike, the Civil Service as a whole was sharing in the 
general industrial unrest. 

The immediate causes of Civil Service discontent were 
first, the increased cost of living, and secondly, a deter- 
mined attempt by the Treasury to force on its general 
classes an eight- instead of a seven-hour day. There 
were, however, old-standing grievances in respect of the 
method of recruitment, the division of the Service into 
almost watertight compartments, methods of promotion 
and so on that provided a standing basis of discontent. 
The MacDonnell Commission, 1 which reported in 1914, 
had recognized that the Service was too inelastic, that 
much suffering arose from the fact that in many cases 
men were too good for their work, and that the barriers 
between classes, based on the education and the social 
position of new entrants, were too strong, but the out- 
break of the war had prevented its recommendations 
from being put into operation. Consequently, discon- 
tent increased, and, with the passage of time and the 
development of staff ideas during the war, became in- 
tensified. 

It was, however, the threat of increased hours that 
forced the various and often hostile classes of Civil 
Servants into association, and caused the formation of 
an ad hoc committee to deal with the danger. The unex- 
pected strength and unanimity of the hostility caused the 
abandonment of the proposal ; but the habit of association 
which was thus begun, remained, and was strengthened 
under the pressure of the increased cost of living. Dur- 
ing the war Civil Servants were working incredibly long 
hours, they found themselves thrust into positions of 
responsibility where their powers of initiative had full 
scope, they were peculiarly exposed to the dangers of 
air-raids, and at the same time their real remuneration 
lagged far behind that of the rest of the population. 

1 Royal Commission on the Civil Service First Report published (Cd. 
6209). Appendix to First Report (Cd. 6210); Second Report (Cd. 6534); 
Appendix to Second Report (Cd. 6535) ; Third Report (Cd. 6739) ; Appen- 
dix to Third Report (Cd. 6740) ; Fourth Report (Cd. 7338) ; First Appendix 
to Fourth Report (Cd. 7339) ; Second Appendix to Fourth Report (Cd. 
734o)- 



8 THE WHITLEY SYSTEM 

Thus the old objections to taking part in organization 
were being destroyed by economic pressure from without 
and by psychological changes within. Staff Associa- 
tions were increasing their membership, and what was 
more important, were changing their tone. Depart- 
mental chiefs were becoming alarmed at the new ten- 
dencies among their staffs, especially in view of the 
constantly increasing departmental responsibilities. 
The opportunity afforded by the Governmental Whitley 
propaganda was too good to be lost, and staff associations 
concentrated on pressing the Government to apply the 
Whitley medicine for industrial ills to its own staff. 
The Whitley Committee had not suggested the applica- 
tion of the Whitley System to the Civil Service; but 
when its Report went to the Cabinet it was expressly 
pointed out to Ministers, in a memorandum by Mrs. 
Webb, that whilst the system would fail in industry, the 
Government would be forced to adopt it for its own 
employees. Nevertheless, this opinion was ignored, and 
the development of the agitation in the Civil Service 
seems hardly to have been foreseen by the Government. 
Certainly it caused it much embarrassment and met with 
strong resistance ; the embarrassment of the Government 
was naturally increased because of elements in itself that 
were favourable to the extension and of which the Ser- 
vice took full advantage. This continued agitation on 
the part of the staffs, together with scornful pressure by 
the business men, forced the Government to give way 
as regards the industrial establishments; but it was not 
till March, 1919, that the weight of staff and public 
opinion, perhaps assisted by alarm on the part of many 
Departmental Chiefs, led to the appointment of an Inter- 
departmental Committee on the Application of the 
Whitley Report to Government Establishments. This 
Committee adopted a report recommending the introduc- 
tion of a modified Whitley System into the Administra- 
tive and Legal Departments of the Civil Service. 

Far from appeasing the agitation, the issue of this 
report only raised it to a storm. The Committee had 
been a purely Official Side affair, and while recommend- 
ing the establishment of a National Joint Council, De- 
partmental Councils, District or Local Office Committees 
and Sectional Committees of the Departmental Councils, 
deliberately laid down the functions of the National Coun- 



IN THE CIVIL SERVICE 9 

cil as " consultative and advisory only." 1 It was careful 
to exclude " questions of policy, administration, and, 
save in their underlying principles, all questions of pro- 
motion, superannuation and discipline." Fortunately 
it concluded by suggesting the calling of a National 
Conference. 2 

When this Conference came together in April, 1919, 
the Staff representatives made it very plain that with a 
Council so restricted beforehand as to its scope and 
power, the Staff Associations could have nothing to do ; 
they were prepared for joint discussion, but would not 
accept any dictated constitution. The Government, 
much pressed by industrial unrest and still desirous of 
pursuing the path of conciliation, was, in addition, some- 
what alarmed at the possibility of disloyalty in the Civil 
Service. It found itself therefore constrained to agree, 
through its representatives, to the setting up of a Joint 
Committee consisting of thirty members divided equally 
between Official and Staff Side nominees to prepare and 
submit a detailed agreed scheme for a Civil Service 
Whitley System. 

This Committee met under the chairmanship of Sir 
Malcolm Ramsay with Mr. Stuart Bunning as Vice- 
Chairman, and after much discussion, issued in May, 
1919, a report which was adopted by the Cabinet and by 
the Staff Associations as the constitution of the National 
Whitley Council. 3 

The Committee was careful to make it clear that the 
setting up of the Whitley machinery would not interfere 
with the continuance of the Civil Service Arbitration 
Board. And this still exists and operates under certain 
circumstances when agreement cannot be reached on the 
National Council, besides being able, if necessary, to 
deal with matters brought directly before it by associa- 
tions. 4 

1 In the case of the Civil Service of the Union of South Africa where, 
at the end of 1921, a Civil Service Whitley Scheme has beem intro- 
duced, this limitation has actually been accepted, and the functions of 
the Whitley Council are " consultative and advisory only." 

" Report on the Application of the Whitley Report to the Adminis- 
trative Departments of the Civil Service." 

" Report of the National Provisional Joint Committee on the Appli- 
cation of the Whitley Report to the Administrative Departments of the 
Civil Service." [Cmd. 198.] 

* The Board, under the or ; ginal title of the " Conciliation and Arbi- 
tration Board for Government Employees," was set up early in 1917 



io THE WHITLEY SYSTEM 

The Board consists of two members and a Chairman. 
One member is appointed from the panel of employers' 
representatives, the other from the panel of employees' 
representatives, and the Chairman is not agreed in any 
way, but is a Government nominee. The panel of em- 
ployees' representatives being a matter between the 
Ministry of Labour and the Parliamentary Committee 
of the Trade Union Congress, it happens that the Civil 
Servants concerned have no power of nomination nor 
even of agreement, and the Board thus consists of two 
employers' representatives and one representative of the 
general public. 

It is not surprising that much dissatisfaction with its 
composition exists in the Civil Service, and that efforts 
are being made to secure a more impartial tribunal. 

Its first award was made on May-day, 1917, when it 
granted a war bonus to the adult permanent employees 
of the G.P.O., and of its first eighty awards, some thirty 
were concerned with war bonus. Between May ist, 
1917, and August ist, 1919, it heard ninety-nine claims, 
particulars of which are given in Vol. I of Awards and 
Agreements, published by the Stationery Office. 

Since the institution of the National Whitley Council, 
the number of claims submitted has been greatly re- 
duced; thus, between August, 1919, and July, 1921, 

as a result of agitation and negotiations mainly by the National Joint 
Committee of Post Office Associations and by the Civil Service Federa- 
tion. The occasion arising from the rapid increase in the cost of 
living and the way in which Civil Service wages lagged behind those 
of the rest of the working community. 

Its terms of reference are peculiar and only provide for claims for 
increased remuneration arid not for Official Side proposals for decreased 
remuneration. They read : 

" To deal by way of conciliation or arbitration with questions aris- 
ing with regard to claims for increased remuneration (whether permanent 
or temporary owing to war conditions) made by classes of employees 
of Government Departments, other than classes of employees who are 
engaged wholly or mainly by way of manual labour of a kind common 
to Government and other employment, and in respect of whom the 
Board are satisfied, on the certificate of the Government Department 
concerned, that adequate means for the settlement of such questions 
have already been provided, or that changes of remuneration always 
follow the decision of the recognized machinery applicable to the dis- 
trict generally. 

" Provided that for the present and until experience has been gained 
of the working of the scheme, the Board shall not entertain applica- 
tions for permanent increases of salary from the more highly paid 
classes of employees of any Government Department, namely, classes 
of officers with salaries of 500 or over or placed on scales of salary 
rising to 500 or over." 



IN THE CIVIL SERVICE 11 

there were only nineteen as compared with nearly a 
hundred in the preceding two years and these have 
been mostly cases of disagreement between the Official 
and Staff Sides of the National or Departmental Whitley 
Councils. In several important cases the Board has pro- 
ceeded by sending the parties away for further discus- 
sion, so that eventually agreement has been arrived at 
without an award being necessary. 

The value of the Board to the Civil Service, even in 
its present somewhat imperfect state and with its limited 
terms of reference, is generally recognized; indeed, its 
existence is essential as providing a way out of many 
Whitley Council deadlocks. Its value would be much 
increased if the Chairman were agreed and if its scope 
were made more general. 1 



THE CONSTITUTION. 

The constitution recommended by the Committee laid 
down the functions of the National Whitley Council in 
terms closely following those of the original Whitley 
report, and specified them as being the securing of : 

r. Provision of the best means for utilizing the ideas 
and experience of the staff. 

2. Means for securing to the staff a greater share in 

and responsibility for the determination and ob- 
servance of the conditions under which their 
duties are carried out. 

3. Determination of the general principles governing 

conditions of service, e.g., recruitment, hours, 
promotion, discipline, tenure, remuneration and 
superannuation. 

4. The encouragement of the further education of 

Civil Servants and their -training in higher ad- 
ministration and organization. 

5. Improvement of office machinery and organization 

and the provision of opportunities for the full 
consideration of suggestions by the staff on this 
subject. 

1 After the MS. had left my hands the Government announced the 
abolition of the Arbitration Board and further declared their intention 
to change the composition of the Official Side. I have accordingly left 
the text as it stands and dealt with the nevtf situation in Appendix I. 

J. H. M-G. 



12 THE WHITLEY SYSTEM 

6. Proposed legislation so far as it has a bearing upon 
the position of Civil Servants in relation to their 
employment. 

In place of the original proposal that the Council 
should be merely consultative and advisory, it was 
provided that : 

" The decisions of the Council shall be arrived at by 
agreement between the two sides, shall be signed by the 
Chairman and Vice-Chairman, shall be reported to the 
Cabinet, and thereupon shall become operative." 

This is a vital clause. It ensures that the Council 
shall not be a place for the mere pronouncing of pious 
opinions, it gives weight to its deliberations and prevents 
them from being ignored in the way that has become 
familiar through the fate of Consumers' Councils. With- 
out this clause the Staff Side would have been little more 
than a standing deputation and the associations would 
not have consented to take part. On the other hand, it 
has been fastened on by constitutionalists as making a 
serious constitutional innovation. They suggest that it 
is in effect the setting up of a new authority in the State, 
different from and superior to the Executive, and even in 
a sense the rival of the Legislature. 

While it is conceivable that such a development might 
eventually take place, it must clearly be stated that the 
Official Side always considered that nothing in the Whit- 
ley constitution affected either the overriding power of 
Parliament or the continuance of Ministerial responsi- 
bility. This view was acquiesced in by the Staff Side, and 
all discussions have been conditioned by it. The con- 
sidered opinion of the Council has been expressed in a 
joint statement, which says : 

" The establishment of Whitley Councils cannot re- 
lieve the Government of any part of its responsibility to 
Parliament, and Ministers and Heads of Departments 
acting under the general or specific authority of Minis- 
ters must take such action as may be required in any case 
in the public interest. This condition is inherent in the 
constitutional doctrines of Parliamentary government 
and Ministerial responsibility, and Ministers can neither 
waive nor escape it. 

" It follows from this constitutional principle that 
while the acceptance by the Government of the Whitley 
System as regards the Civil Service implies an intention 



IN THE CIVIL SERVICE 13 

to make the fullest possible use of Whitley procedure, 
the Government has not surrendered, and cannot sur- 
render, its liberty of action in the exercise of its authority 
and the discharge of its responsibilities in the public 
interest." 

Nevertheless, as the Official Side represents the Govern- 
ment, this statement emphasizes that fact and provides 
for administrative emergencies, and does not modify the 
effect of a clause strongly held by the Staff Side as 
making the acceptance of the Council worth the while 
of its constituents. 

THE COMPOSITION OF THE COUNCIL. 

The National Council consists of fifty-four members, 
half appointed by the Government to form the Official 
Side and half by the Staff Associations grouped in certain 
ways. The Official Side members must be " persons of 
standing (who may or may not be Civil Servants) and 
shall include at least one representative of the Treasury 
and one representative of the Ministry of Labour," and 
within those limitations the Government may appoint 
whom it likes. In practice, it has filled the places with 
Departmental Chiefs, the chair being occupied by the 
Chief Establishment Officer of the Treasury, who, under 
the Chancellor of the Exchequer, is the head of the whole 
Civil Service. 1 

This composition of the Official Side has led to the 
accusation that the whole Council is a group of Civil 
Servants who are particularly and dishonestly occupied 
in fixing each others' salaries. As a matter of fact, the 
salaries and conditions of service of Departmental Chiefs 
have never been considered by the Council. In any 
case, the relationship that exists between Departmental 
Chiefs and Ministers is so close. as to make any such 
underhand collusion unthinkable; the relationship is 
indeed so close that the Departmental Chiefs, and 
especially the Treasury members, are more truly repre- 
sentative of the mind of the Government than would be 
an Official Side constituted in such other way as has been 
suggested, and as will be described later. 

If there is a danger, it is that the members of the 
Official Side, owing to their sense of responsibility to 

1 Since this was written, a change in the composition of the Official 
Side has been announced. It is now to include M.P.'s. 5W Appendix I. 



i 4 THE WHITLEY SYSTEM 

their political chiefs, to a natural taste for the exercise of 
authority over subordinates, and to their traditional 
sense of honour, shall be even more Governmental in 
their attitude than the Cabinet itself. 

Again it is provided that the Staff Side shall also "con- 
sist of persons of standing (who may or may not be Civil 
Servants) appointed by . . . groups of Staff Associa- 
tions." 

These groups with their approximate numbers of 
members and of representatives are now (November, 
1921) as follows : 

Group. Approx. Numbers. Reps. 

Post Office 130,000 ... 9 

Civil Sendee Confederation ... ... 56,000 ... 10 

Joint Consultative Committee 1 ... ... 7,000 ... 3 

Institution of Professional Civil Servants 3,000 ... 2 

Temporary Staffs Confederation 47,000,... 3 

The importance of this method of selecting Staff Side 
representatives is not immediately apparent. In industry 
at large the principle that the Trade Union represents 
its members and that in any particular industry the 
grouped Trade Unions form the employees' side of a 
Council was not in question when the original Whitley 
report was issued. But in the Civil Service Staff Asso- 
ciations were far from having secured complete recogni- 
tion, and negotiations between staffs and departments or 

1 The Joint Consultative Committee is a means by which the follow- 
ing Societies are loosely combined Society of Civil Servants, Associa- 
tion of ist Division Civil Servants, Association of Inspectors of Taxes, 
Civil Service Legal Society. 

This allocation is an adjustment between the claims of numbers ana* 
those of interests. Thus the Post Office Group comprises some half 
dozen Associations of which the U.P.W. and the Post Office Engineer- 
ing Federation account for over a hundred thousand members. Th 
Civil Service Confederation consists of eighty associations ranging in 
size from the Civil Service Clerical Association, with a membership of 
some 20,000, to the Senior and Junior Clerks of the Board of Control, 
Scotland, with a membership of seven ; its members are of the most 
diverse character, including Officers of Customs and Excise, Executive 
Officers, Trade and Market Officers, Sasine Office Clerks, Draughts- 
men from three Departments, Ordnance Survey Civil Staff, County 
Court Officers, Sorting Assistants, Royal Parks Employees and Estab- 
lished men from the various Dockyards. The Institute of Professional 
Civil Servants again, represents no less than forty societies of every 
sort of professional men. and women, while the Society of Civil Ser- 
vants admits any established salaried Civil Servant to membership from 
an Under Secretary to a Clerical Assistant and is careful to disclaim 
any intention of acting at all like a Trade Union. The allocation of 
seats is subject to revision and has already been varied once in the 
interests of the Joint Consultative Committee and of the Temporary 
Staffs Confederation. 



IN THE CIVIL SERVICE 15 

between staffs and the Treasury were always liable to be 
complicated and rendered difficult by controversies over 
the competence of Associations to represent their mem-, 
bers. The acceptance by the Government of this clause 
in the constitution is in itself a complete recognition of 
the associations, and has had a wide effect apart from 
the operation of the Whitley System. It explains the 
recent growth in the number of associations which has 
gone on along with a great movement towards amalga- 
mation. 

SCOPE OF THE COUNCIL. 

The National Council covers all Civil Servants except 
those dealt with by the Joint Bodies for the Government 
.Industrial Establishments. 

In the original report it was remarked : " There may 
be problems of common interest to the Civil Servants 
covered by the Joint Bodies for the Administrative De- 
partments and the Civil Servants covered by the Joint 
Bodies for the Industrial Establishments. Experience 
will indicate the best kind of machinery for the con- 
sideration of such problems, and the National Council 
will, we anticipate, keep in touch with the Joint Bodies 
for the Industrial Establishments when questions of this 
kind arise." 

A joint committee has already been set up in 'the 
Admiralty to maintain a liaison between these two sides 
of the Civil Service, and the tendency will be for the 
connection to be drawn closer in time, but at present the 
Councils for the Industrial Establishments would be 
more appropriately treated in a survey of Industrial 
Whitleyism, and we shall confine ourselves to dealing 
with the Council for the Administrative and Legal De- 
partments of the Civil Service. 

DEPARTMENTAL COUNCILS. 

In the Report it was contemplated that the National 
Council should be supplemented by Departmental Coun- 
cils and by District and Office (or Works) Committees. 
In regard to Departmental Councils, certain principles 
were enunciated, but the actual constitutions were left 
to be discussed by a joint meeting in each Department, 
subject to approval by the National Council. The 
National Council itself drew up a Model Constitution 



16 THE WHITLEY SYSTEM 

which has formed the basis of the constitutions of the 
various Departmental Councils; apart from this the 
National Council has conformed to the recommendations 
of the Ramsay-Bunning Committee and has not scrutin- 
ized the individual constitutions " beyond the point 
necessary to secure that they are in harmony with Whit- 
ley principles and are ... on uniform lines." 

COMPOSITION OF DEPARTMENTAL 
COUNCILS. 

The same formula applies to the Official Sides of De- 
partmental Councils as to the National Council. The 
members must be persons of standing. The application 
is more difficult, and in certain Departments Staff Sides 
complain that the membersof the Official Side are of such 
low official standing that they are not entrusted by the 
Head of the Department with any powers, and conse- 
quently only act as a channel for conveying the views of 
the Staff Side to those who are responsible for decisions. 
It is the very general practice, however, for the per- 
manent Head to occupy the chair and for him to be sup- 
ported by his immediate deputy, the members of his 
Board, if one exists, the Chief Establishment Officer and 
such Chiefs of Sub-Departments as the Accountant and 
Controller-General, and so on. Official Side members 
are appointed by the Minister or by the permanent 
Head of a Department. 

Members of the Staff Side are appointed by the asso- 
ciation or group of associations having members em- 
ployed in the Department. It is provided that where an 
association has members outside as well as inside the 
Department, the electorate shall be the members of the 
association in the Department, but that it shall be open 
to the electorate so constituted to choose as their repre- 
sentative any member or official of the association who 
is employed in the Civil Service, or if not a person so 
employed, is a full-time officer of the association. The 
election shall in all cases be under the authority of the 
association concerned. Thus the Departmental consti- 
tution emphasizes the complete recognition of staff asso- 
ciations by the Government which followed on the 
acceptance of the Whitley System. 

Departmental Councils have the same object and 
functions as the National Council so far as they have a 



IN THE CIVIL SERVICE 17 

special application to the particular department, subject 
to the condition that the determination of general ques- 
tions is reserved for the National Council. In their own 
sphere the Departmental Councils enjoy complete 
autonomy. The National Council does not in any way 
act as a court of appeal, though it gives advice to Depart- 
mental Councils in cases of difficulty, and even acts as a 
mediator when deadlock has occurred between two sides 
of a Departmental Council. 

SUBORDINATE COMMITTEES. 

Subordinate to the Departmental Councils are the 
local office, works, district and regional committees in 
which purely local matters may be discussed. Once 
again the associations are the basis of Staff Side repre- 
sentation, while the area chief acts as Official Side chair- 
man and appoints his colleague or colleagues from 
among his immediate heads of staff. These Committees 
are definitely subordinate to the Departmental Councils, 
and their decisions are reported to them for ratification 
or rejection ; they are in no sense the basis of the Whit- 
ley structure which is the Staff Association and they have 
no representation on the superior bodies. Apart from 
the record in their minutes of discussion and from the 
report of agreements or disagreements they have no 
access to the Departmental Councils. Official Side and 
Staff Side alike can approach the Councils by means of 
the representatives of their respective Staff Associations, 
and in the case of the Official Side the normal practice is 
for it to report and take instructions from the Head of 
the Department before entering into discussions with 
the Staff Side. 

THE EXTENT OF THE WHITLEY ORGANIZA- 
TION. 

Departmental Councils have been set up in the great 
majority of Government Departments (see Appendix II), 
and their machinery and their Subordinate Committees 
have developed in very varying degrees. A department 
like the Customs and Excise, for instance, will have as 
many as a dozen sectional or grade committees ; seven 
office and more than seventy local committees, covering 



i8 THE WHITLEY SYSTEM 

the whole of the United Kingdom and Ireland from 
Inverness to Plymouth and from Grimsby to Galway. 
(See Appendix III.) The Admiralty Council in turn has 
District Committees at its outports which in turn have 
office committees dependent through them on the Ad- 
miralty Departmental Council, while each of the Admir- 
alty Departments has its own Office Committee deriving 
directly from the Admiralty Council. 

In the case of the Post Office the machinery is perhaps 
not actually more elaborate, but owing to the great size 
of the Department it certainly appears so. To begin 
with, there are two separate Councils, quite independent 
and each with the full powers of a Departmental Council 
one is the Post Office Whitley Council, the other the 
Post Office (Engineering) Whitley Council. Between 
these two some connection is maintained by means of 
a standing joint committee ; this is of recent institution, 
but there are signs thar its functions will become in- 
creasingly important. Under the Post Office Council, 
besides the usual ad hoc, standing or special committees, 
are first of all two standing committees, one for the 
Supervising Grades and a Clerical Sub-committee. 
There are committees in each of the big sub-departments 
such as the Secretaries' Office, the Accountant-General's 
Department, the Savings Bank Department, and soon, to 
the number of eight as in the case of other Departmental 
Councils. In addition there are committees for the Lon- 
don District Postal Service, the London Telephone Ser- 
vice and the Stores Department, each of which in turn has 
a number of local committees subordinate to itself much 
in the same way as in the case of the Admiralty. Finally 
there is a Local Committee for each Head Post Office 
Area and of these there are actually some thousand, a 
number which completely dwarfs the local committees 
even of the Customs and Excise Departments. 

From these and a few other great Departments like 
the Ministry of Labour, we pass to others with two or 
three office committees and a few local committees 
and to still others in which the Departmental Council 
and a sub-committee or two can provide for the needs of 
the whole Department and in which no such network 
of subordinate committees has been required. Thus the 
machinery of the different Departments has reached very 
different states of development, and although it will be 



IN THE CIVIL SERVICE 19 

impossible to give details of the work of every Council 
some estimate will be attempted in the sections that deal 
with Whitley Methods and Achievements. 

METHODS. 

It is provided that in the Councils each side shall act 
as a whole, and there is no provision for voting on matters 
that arise. Each side in its preliminary meetings goes 
over the agenda and decides upon its attitude, which is 
stated by the Chairman and Vice-Chairman as spokes- 
men for the Official and Staff Sides respectively. Fresh 
points of view arising in the course of discussion are 
considered by the members of the two sides in informal 
pauses or in formal adjournments, and the decisions so 
reached are communicated through the spokesmen. In 
the National Council particularly, the tendency is for 
meetings to resolve themselves into formal duels between 
the Chairman and Vice-Chairman ; occasional relief is 
afforded by speakers on either side, but in the nature of 
things, with the Official Side representing the Govern- 
ment and the Staff Side standing for some quarter of a 
million Civil Servants, the dangers of the expression of 
conflicting points of view by members of the same side 
is so great that independent speaking is not encouraged. 
Individual members usually assist their chairmen by 
briefing. 

The possibility of really useful discussion under such 
circumstances would appear to be very remote ; but the 
difficulty of securing a free exchange of opinions and of 
arriving at agreements based on necessary compromise 
is got over by a free use of Joint Committees. Every 
matter requiring detailed consideration is referred to its 
appropriate Committee where it is thrashed out by 
genuine give-and-take across a table. Here the two 
sides explore each other's minds in an atmosphere of' 
compromise, and the discoveries they make mutually 
are communicated to their colleagues in Staff and Official 
Side meetings. In committee the division into sides is 
by no means so rigid as in the full Council ; this freedom 
is increased because membership of Committees is not 
restricted to members of the Council and both sides take 
advantage of the fact to appoint experts of all sorts. 

Nor is free and informal discussion secured only in 
Committees. In the case of the National Council each 



20 THE WHITLEY SYSTEM 

side has two secretaries who are, in the case of the Staff 
Side, assisted by a full-time staff of clerks and typists ; in 
the case of Departmental Councils each side has a secre- 
tary; each secretariat with its respective Chairman and 
Vice-Chairman forms a liaison group, the members of 
which are in constant touch and grow very familiar with 
the contents of each other's minds. Hosts of minor 
matters are thus dealt with, and negotiations are carried 
on between joint meetings. Partly to control and partly 
to facilitate these between-meeting conferences the Staff 
Side has made a proposal to set up a Joint General Pur- 
poses Committee and it is probable that this will be 
agreed to by the Council. Discussion is rather 
more general on Departmental Councils, although 
the fact that there the protagonists are in im- 
mediate official relationships tends to modify excessive 
independent eloquence; here again, however, much of 
the most valuable work is accomplished in Sectional, 
Grade and Special Committees which in turn report to 
the whole Council. Moreover it is interesting to notice 
that the advantages of smaller, more frequent and more 
informal meetings, in which speakers on both sides can 
say what they really think without definitely committing 
their side of the whole Council, are being so much recog- 
nized, that several Departmental Councils have anti- 
cipated the National Council by setting up Joint General 
Purposes Committees. 

Finally, in the various local committees the Vice- 
Chairman rather introduces the views of the Staff Side 
than presents its case in every subject and a general talk 
frequently ensues. In some constitutions a provision is 
made whereby many local decisions may be made after 
informal discussion between .the Chairman and Vice- 
Chairman. Such decisions are duly reported to the Com- 
mittee at its next meeting and recorded in the minutes. 

ACHIEVEMENTS. 

Thus this system has been set up throughout the Civil 
Service producing an elaborate organization and involv- 
ing the active co-operation of a very considerable num- 
ber of men and women. So completely does Whitley- 
ism permeate some Departments that it is computed that 
in the Customs and Excise alone, a thousand members 



IN THE CIVIL SERVICE 21 

of the Service are actually concerned in its operation. 
This is in itself a very remarkable result of two years' 
working ; but the mere setting up of elaborate machinery 
is of course not a justification of Whitleyism, indeed, 
except for its immediate educative effect it may well be 
looked upon as an unfortunate drawback. 

How far then has Whitleyism secured co-operation 
between the State as employer and the Civil Servants as 
employees so as -to increase the efficiency of the public 
service and to deal with grievances ? Has it done any- 
thing to utilize the ideas and experience of the staff, to 
encourage the further education of Civil Servants, and 
in short to produce that new spirit which was the real 
object of Whitleyism and from which the material bene- 
fits already detailed could be expected to flow ? 

The Rational Council on its institution found itself 
faced with two great problems. On the one hand, the 
great increase in the cost of living had been met by no 
adjustments in the Civil Service to correspond with those 
made in outside industry and in the business world. On 
the other hand, the organization of the Service was 
generally admitted to be thoroughly unsatisfactory; as 
has already been pointed out, Lord MacDonnell's Com- 
mission had reported adversely in 1914 and had made 
suggestions, but the war had prevented the exploration 
of its recommendations and had complicated problems 
already sufficiently difficult of solution. 

These two great problems the Council at once attacked. 
As a first result of its deliberations it produced the cost 
of living settlement. 1 This settlement has been violently 
attacked by Civil Servants as inadequate on two main 
grounds. They have claimed that the Cost of Living 

1 (a) The scale of bonus was fixed as follows : 

On the first 91 55. per annum of salary, 130 per cent. 

On the amount between 91 53. and ^200 per annum, 60 per cent. 

On the amount over 200 per annum, 45 per cent. 

(b) The scale was based on a cost of living index figure of 130. For 
the first year the bonus was to be subject to revision every four months 
and thereafter every six months, being increased or decreased by i/26th 
of the total bonus for every five points rise or fall in the average cost 
of living figure for the preceding period. 

(c) The settlement as such was applied only to officers with a salary 
not exceeding ^"500 a year, but an undertaking was given that it would 
in fact be extended to officers with salaries in excess of that figure, 
and the Staff Side accepted this undertaking as an integral part of the 
agreement. The maximum amount of bonus to be paid was fixed at 
75 a year. 



22 THE WHITLEY SYSTEM 

Index figure, being based on the expenditure of manual 
workers, is less favourable towards salaried non-manual 
workers whose range of expenditure is different. As a 
matter of fact 88 per cent, of the Civil Servants affected 
are in receipt of remuneration not exceeding ,200 a year, 
so that for the vast majority the index figure is as fair 
a touchstone as for anybody else. They also claimed 
that the graduations are too steep, and point out that 
when the index figure was at 130 the percentage bonus 
on the whole salary dropped from 130 per cent, at 305. a 
week, to 91 per cent, at 200 a year and again to 71 per 
cent, at ^350 a year and 54 per cent, at ^1,000 a year. 1 
On the other hand it has been attacked even more fiercely 
by the anti-waste mongers as outrageously extravagant, 
and has been made the object of many threats. Between 
the two extremes wisdom lies, and it has been very gener- 
ally recognized as the most nearly satisfactory of all the 
Cost of Living Bonus schemes. 

The reorganization of the Clerical classes of the Civil 
Service was a more difficult task, and it occupied the 
Reorganization Committee from October, 1919, to 
January, 1921. An analysis of its recommendations 
would be beyond the scope of this pamphlet and would 
entail an examination of the structure and composition 
of the whole Civil Service, together with a discussion of 
its methods of recruitment. 2 These recommendations 3 
were adopted by the National Whitley Council and 
under them the whole of the clerical classes in the Civil 
Service, men and women, Higher Division, Second 
Division, Assistant Clerks and the rest, have been re- 
organized into classes according to the type of work they 
perform ; that work itself has been reclassified ; rates of 
pay, leave periods and such like material conditions of 

1 See article " The Greedy Civil Servant," The Civilian, May 
aist, 1921. Letter "The Gase for the Civil Servant," The New States- 
man, May 28th, 1921. 

2 The Government of England, Vol. I, Chapters IV-VIII, by A. 
Lawrence Lowell, although thrown out of date by the present reorganiza- 
tion, still gives a useful basis to the student. The Civil Service Com- 
pendium, by W. J. Brown, issued by the Clerical Officers' Association, 
383, St. George's Road, Victoria, S.W., From Patronage to Proficiency 
in the Public Service, Part I. W. A. Robson. Published by Fabian 
Society. 

3 Civil Service National Whitley Council. Report of the Joint Com- 
mittee on the Organization^, etc., of the Civil Service. Published, 
Stationery Office, February lyth, 1920 ; and Reorganization Committee. 
Final Report. Published by Stationery Office. 



IN THE CIVIL SERVICE 23 

service have been revised ; and the method of recruit- 
ment has been radically altered. At last an attempt has 
been made to make a scientific division of the work of 
the Service, to relate the qualities of the Civil Servant to 
the requirements of his employment, and to provide for 
something like adequate movement from one grade to 
another. It is too soon to pronounce on this great re- 
organization, to say whether' the new classifications of 
Administrative, Executive and Clerical officers and of 
Writing Assistants will fulfil expectations, and whether 
the way opened to the Administrative class will in fact 
admit Executive and Clerical Officers in greater num- 
bers than in the past; but it does at least lay down 
reasonable principles which will be of the utmost value 
in the process of developing the Civil Service, and it has 
had an immediate effect in removing a host of grievances 
which had persisted for two generations. 

The carrying out of two such pieces of work in the 
first two years of its existence would seem in itself to 
furnish justification for the establishment of the National 
.Whitley Council. It would be tedious to detail all the 
other matters which it has settled or is in course of con- 
sidering. These have ranged from the principles and 
methods of promotion, a most difficult subject, 1 the de- 
marcation of professional, scientific and technical 
grades in the Service, another thorny subject, and the 
further education of the staff, 2 to questions of sick leave, 
seniority on appointment, the purchase of motor-cycles 
for official business and so on. 

At the same time the various Departmental Councils 
have been in operation, and it would be impossible to 
arrive at a conclusion as to the value of the system with- 
out some survey of the work they have performed. This 
has varied very much from Department to Department, 
partly owing to differences in the conditions of work, 
but very largely owing to differences in the disposition 
of the Departmental chiefs and in the degree of organ- 
ization among members of the staffs. Such Departments 
as the Admiralty and the Customs^and Excise have not 

1 Committee on Promotions. First Report. Published by Stationery 
Office. 

* Civil Service National Whitley Council. Committee on the Further 
Education of Civil Servants. Interim Report, October loth, 1920. 
Second Interim Report, May 24th, 1921, both published by Stationery 
Office. 



24 THE WHITLEY SYSTEM 

built up their elaborate organizations to no purpose. 
The Customs and Excise Council, for example, has re- 
organized the whole of its main branch, the Outdoor 
Service, it has re-allocated work, changed salary scales 
and altered leave for all its officers from the higher 
collectors and superintending inspectors whose salary 
begins at ^900 and rises to i ,500 a year, down through 
controlling grades and Surveyors, to officers whose 
salary begins at ^120 a year. It is perhaps necessary 
to remark here that all Departmental reorganizations 
must secure the sanction of the Treasury, as representing 
the Government, in the ordinary way. The Customs 
and Excise Council, with its local committees, has re- 
schemed the whole of the stations of the country, has 
introduced a system based on the unit value of work, 
a most important innovation in Civil Service practice, 
and has allocated with the minimum of discontent the 
prize money earned during the war. It has prepared 
general orders carrying out one and another of the 
various new Acts which the Department has been called 
upon to administer, and it has undertaken the considera- 
tion of ways and means for securing the utmost economy 
in the Department. Every sort of subject has been 
dealt with from details of the method of payment of Old 
Age Pensions to the instruction of new entrants to the 
Service, and from the speeding up of the supply of books 
and forms to office accommodation. 

The Admiralty, again, has acted as a pioneer in the 
matter of promotion, having secured something very 
like co-operation between the Official and Staff Sides. 
The Admiralty Council, too, has considered post-war 
complements and other matters concerning the condi- 
tions of service of the staff. It has effected economies 
and improvements in the methods of registering and re- 
cording documents, and it has occupied itself with con- 
sidering those technical duplicating processes so neces- 
sary to the carrying on of Admiralty work. 

So, again, the Council at the Ministry of Labour has 
handled its own departmental reorganization, and, like 
that at the Admiralty, has anticipated in its departmental 
promotions scheme, most of the recommendations of the 
Promotions Committee of the National Council. 

In short, in these Departments the Councils are de- 
veloping the utmost co-operation between the State as 



IN THE CIVIL SERVICE 25 

employer and the mass of Civil Servants, are utilizing 
the ideas and experience of the staffs and are securing 
to them a considerable share in and responsibility for 
the determination and observance of the conditions under 
which their duties are carried out. 

Perhaps it would be too much to say that these 
Departments are typical of the work of Whitleyism in 
the Service, but at any rate they are indicative of what 
it is accomplishing. Departmental reorganizations, 
schemes for training the staffs in their duties, efforts at 
providing further education, discussions on promotion, 
attempts to assist in administration, all alike have come 
within the purview of one and another Council. 

It is true that in some cases the Official Sides have held 
back and have rarely contributed towards the agenda 
of the Council meetings, while the Staff Sides have ex- 
hibited a tendency to concentrate unduly upon staff 
grievances; in some cases staff differences have made 
smooth working almost impossible; but the Whitley 
idea is making progress and the practice of the pioneer 
Departments is steadily spreading throughout the Ser- 
vice. It will be realized that the full application of a 
system which depends for its success upon the appre- 
hension of its principles by the personnel of a whole 
Service and upon the active co-operation of so large a 
number of individuals of such differing ranks, could 
hardly be immediate, especially in view of the traditions 
of the Service and of the individuals concerned, indeed 
it is a matter for surprise that the machinery should have 
been so generally set up and so successfully operated in 
so short a time. 

THE CHANGE IN STAFF STATUS. 

The introduction of the Whitley 'System has produced 
a great change in the status of the staff in all Depart- 
ments. At the least its existence provides a vast im- 
provement in the methods of negotiation between the 
Staff and its Departmental chiefs or the Treasury. The 
very recognition of Trade Unionism implied in the 
system establishes the principle of collective bargain- 
ing. In the pre-Whitley days, negotiation, if the word 
could be used, was carried on by staffs standing as it 
were on the mat and sending in petitions. If the griev- 



26 THE WHITLEY SYSTEM 

ance were sufficiently acute and the petitions were con- 
temptuously ignored or ingeniously trifled with, as was 
usually the case, the Staff was reduced to proceed by 
means of Lobbying and Parliamentary questions. Under 
the operation of the Whitley system negotiations are 
more rapid, more dignified and more effective. 

Along with this has come an altered relationship be- 
tween Departmental chiefs and their subordinates. Per- 
haps nowhere were Departmental chiefs so autocratic 
as in the Civil Service. The almost impassable barriers 
between grades fortified by strong class distinctions, the 
general absence of staff organization, the almost univer- 
sal prejudice against such organization, the tradition of 
permanence, and the very nature of Service forms and 
formalities all combined to make the Departmental chief 
a potentate almost unapproachable. Each chief in turn 
throughout the hierarchy tended to reproduce some- 
thing of the conditions that prevailed above him. Thus 
Whitleyism has effected something very like a revolu- 
tion. Right up the Service chiefs of every grade must 
at any rate justify themselves in discussion with their 
staffs. Not only so, but they must if necessary justify 
themselves before the whole Service. A local Collector 
of Customs who acted the tyrant with his staff left them 
in the old days practically no redress, they were a good 
deal more helpless than private soldiers in a similar case. 
Now any matter can be brought up in the local commit- 
tee; the committee agenda goes directly to the Board 
before the meeting takes place ; its minutes go to the 
Board and to the Departmental Council. The whole 
Service knows what is happening and what is at least 
as important, the Board as such becomes very much 
aware of the friction. No man likes to be made to look 
a fool or tyrant in discussion whether it be the principal 
clerk of an office or the head of a great Department of 
State, nobody likes to have errors of judgment or tact 
brought to the notice of his official chiefs ; and under 
the Whitley System there is, therefore, the strongest 
possible inducement for people in authority to avoid the 
commission of the thousand errors of heedlessness which 
used to cause so much annoyance and even suffering to 
those committed to their care ; more and more it will be 
impossible to judge Whitleyism entirely by the mere 
positive record of its minutes; the work of its thousands 



IN THE CIVIL SERVICE 27 

of officers and local committees, of the most profound 
importance in regard to the smooth working of the 
various Departments of State, must, as time goes on, be 
judged very largely by negative evidence. 

This altered relationship is affecting the psychology of 
the Civil Servant ; it is changing his attitude to the daily 
routine which becomes in many ways less irksome. 
Along with this is coming a corresponding growth of a 
sense of responsibility for the working of each Depart- 
ment and of the Service as a whole, and this brings with 
it a perceptible lightening of the sense of futility that 
afflicted able men condemned to the performance of 
routine duties in whose direction they had no say for 
the greater part of a lifetime. It is almost as though 
what had been a machine were becoming an organism. 
This change is expressed in a growing appreciation of 
the Civil Service as a profession of which so many signs 
are now to be perceived. Here, then, is evidence that 
Whitleyism is in course of producing that new spirit 
which is in turn its prime object and the source of all its 
material success. 

MAINTENANCE OF STAFF INTEREST. 

It is obvious that the working of Whitleyism throw's 
a heavy burden on the individual employees. Indeed 
the success of Whitleyism, and still more of any system 
of joint control, will depend on the ability of the em- 
ployees to shoulder this burden. The Civil Service is 
in a favourable position to deal with the problems thus 
arising, for its employees are generally reasonably well- 
educated and often have administrative experience, while 
they have a fair amount of leisure. Nevertheless the 
strain thrown on those actively concerned in the work 
is almost intolerable and has already resulted in many 
breakdowns and retirements. The remedy seems to lie 
on the one hand in a more generous recognition by the 
Departments and the Treasury of the services performed 
by Staff representatives and of their virtual seconding 
during the period of their office, and of a similar recog- 
nition by the Staffs concerned, resulting in a more ade- 
quate provision of full-time staff, and on the other hand 
in such a development of public opinion in the Service 
as will secure the necessary supply of interested volun- 



28 THE WHITLEY SYSTEM 

tary workers to relieve the strain and to provide the 
relays that may be required. 

It needs but a small experience of human nature to 
know that the necessary development of opinion will not 
be purely spontaneous. Moreover, in Service Whitley- 
ism as in Industrial Trade Unionism there is the usual 
tendency for those who act as Staff Side Secretaries or 
who sit as National and Departmental Councillors to 
become in their turn officialized. This has been some- 
what increased by the insistence on secrecy during the 
course of discussions. The Staff Side has been particu- 
larly aware of the danger of this tendency and of the 
necessity for maintaining communication between con- 
stituent Associations and the National Council and again 
between the various Departments. For this purpose it 
has appointed a Co-or<4ination Officer, who issues a 
monthly Whitley Bulletin for circulation through the 
Service, and who arranges regular monthly meetings of 
National Councillors and Departmental Staff Side Secre- 
taries and representatives. 1 In addition the minutes of 
Staff Side and joint meetings are regularly circulated to 
the Executive of the constituent associations. Thus the 
Service is kept regularly informed of the doings of its 
representatives. 

The methods of Departmental Councils in regard to 
such publicity vary. Decisions affecting a Department 
generally are frequently communicated through the 
medium of official orders, but the greater part of the 
work is considered to be a matter for the Staff Side. The 
Joint Committee of Customs and Excise Associations 
has, since the inception of Departmental Whitley ism, 
issued a printed Quarterly Report, running to twelve 
large quarto pages, but so far this is the only Depart- 

1 The history of these meetings! of Departmental Staff Side Secre- 
taries is interesting. In the first instance they were convened on the 
initiative of one or two Departmental Staff Sides without reference to 
the National Staff Side. The meetings proved so valuable that they 
were continued, and a movement was made to give them a machinery 
of their owm. At the same time the organization that was thus in 
process of formation showed signs of asking for direct representation 
on the National Council. The analogy with the shop stewards' move- 
ment is noteworthy. As any such development would have cut across 
the basis of Whitley representation, the National Staff Side here inter- 
vened by recognizing the meetings, by taking steps to organize them, 
and by taking care to secure the opinions of Departmental Staff Side 
Secretaries and Representatives through this machinery on every 
possible occasion. 



IN THE CIVIL SERVICE 29 

ment in which such an elaborate arrangement is made. 
The Staff Side of the Ministry of Labour Departmental 
Council issues on occasion a somewhat similar though 
less elaborate printed report. The Admiralty Staff Side 
issues at irregular intervals a typed duplicated State- 
ment of proceedings of the Departmental Council which 
keeps its constituents fairly constantly informed of what 
is going on. Other Staff Sides issue reports more or less 
complete at more or less frequent intervals, and on 
occasion publish leaflets expounding the principles of 
Whitleyism to the members of their Departments. In 
addition, various devices such as periodical congresses 
are resorted to in some Departments. This is all the 
work of Staff Sides as such. The various Staff Associa- 
tions in the course of their activities are necessarily con- 
tinually occupied with the discussion of Whitley matters 
and with the dissemination of Whitley ideas, but an 
examination of their reports and publications to discover 
the extent of this pre-occupation is hardly within our 
present scope. In one way and another, then, public 
opinion in the Service is being rapidly developed, and 
the interest necessary to provide the Whitley personnel 
is being fostered. 

WHY CIVIL SERVICE WHITLEYISM 
SUCCEEDS. 

We have now reached a stage at which it is possible 
to say that we have justified the statement as to Whitley- 
ism in the Civil Service being alive and vigorous. We 
can defer the discussions of its possibilities until we 
have dealt with the question why it should have suc- 
ceeded here whereas in the industrial world it has pretty 
generally been unsuccessful. In the industrial world 
there is a profound conviction that industry exists prim- 
arily for profit-making and not for service and an equally 
profound conviction that the interests of employers and 
employed are fundamentally opposed. Thus there is 
usually no common basis for the two sides of a Whitley 
Council in an industry. Moreover there is a very strong 
distaste on the part of employers for admitting their 
workers to equal discussion on details of profit and 
administration. Without such equal discussion and. 
without the supply of the facts and figures necessary for 



30 THE WHITLEY SYSTEM 

it, the Staff Side of a Whitley Council can be little more 
than a standing deputation. It is not very surprising 
then that Trade Union opinion has come to the belief 
that given strong Unions, direct negotiation can be 
secured without Whitley machinery, and that without 
strong Unions Whitleyism is of no advantage to the 
workers. In any case, Industrial Whitleyism has not 
secured the co-operation in administration that it set out 
to secure. 

Now, in the Civil Service there is a complete absence 
of the profit-making element. Even where a Department 
is concerned in commercial dealings and where it may 
show a profit on its working like a business concern, the 
Official Side has not a direct pecuniary interest in those 
profits; they are the property of the community and not 
of the Departmental chiefs. There is a fundamental 
community of interest between the Official and the Staff 
Side ; both alike are concerned with the efficiency of the 
Service. They find in that a common formula and a 
touchstone for all proposals from either side. More- 
over, both sides alike accept the authority of Parliament 
as representing the consumer, while the Government in 
its capacity of employer is the employer of the Official 
Side no less than of the Staff Side and its constituents. 1 

The conditions of a State Service produce a pheno- 
menon which cannot well occur in Industrial Whitley- 
ism where a hard-and-fast line is drawn between em- 
ployers and employed. In the Service that hard-and- 
fast line does not exist. In certain circumstances an 
officer will be on the Official Side, in other circumstances 
he may be on the Staff Side : thus a member of the 
Official Side of a local committee sits on the Staff Side of 
the Departmental Council as a representative of his 
grade ; in the same way a Departmental Assistant Secre- 
tary, who on occasion sits on the Official Side of his 
Departmental Council, will appear on the Staff Side of 
the National Council where his Departmental chief 
figures on the Official Side. This all tends to emphasize 
the consciousness of an essential community of interest 
in carrying on the public service. 

Moreover, in Service Whitley Councils the manager- 
ial and organizing elements have actually a majority of 
representation in actual numbers, for not only does the 

1 See Appendix I. 



IN THE CIVIL SERVICE 31 

Official Side consist entirely of administrators, but the 
Staff Side includes among its members five representa- 
tives of administrative and professional classes, and the 
proportion in committees is frequently increased. 

This comparison with Industrial Whitleyism is, per- 
haps, a little dangerous as tending to suggest that pub- 
lic ownership is the one condition necessary for success 
in Whitleyism. It may well be objected that public 
ownership and control obtain as much in the municipal 
as in the State Service and that municipal Whitleyism 
has failed at least as badly as industrial Whitleyism. 
But it has always been realized that a successful Whitley 
system is impossible unless the employers are well 
organized, unless they are able to arrive at a common 
policy and unless they are able to maintain some con- 
tinuity of that policy. In the case of the State the em- 
ployer is so perfectly organized that he is concentrated in 
a single authority. On the other hand in the case of 
the municipalities there is a greater multitude of em- 
ployers than in almost any industry, their conditions 
vary enormously and they are definitely divided in re- 
gard to policy, particularly as to their relations with 
their employees. Further, their association is new, 
without traditions and without power to deal with recal- 
citrant authorities. There are, then, adequate explana- 
tions to account for the failure of Whitleyism in the 
Municipal Service despite the fact of its public character. 

Although the nature of State Service makes for the 
success of Whitleyism while the nature of profit-making 
industry makes against its success, it must already have 
been realized from this account that it is not a magic 
system to work with certain success once it has been 
started. In the Civil Service, as we have shown, while 
in some Departments it has secured real co-operation, in 
others it has made but little real difference. Apart from 
the nature of ownership, then, certain conditions are 
needed if the system is to work. There must be genuine 
good faith on the part of the Government, so that agree- 
ments once entered into will be honoured. That is a 
fundamental. Equally there must be a real desire on 
both sides of the Council to work together. That again 
is a fundamental condition. On the Official Side there 
must be chiefs of a special quality, who have been will- 
ing to lay aside their old despotic power. This personal 



32 THE WHITLEY SYSTEM 

element is in Service Whitleyism of the utmost import- 
ance. The continued working of the system may be 
expected to produce a modification of its importance as 
the general tone of Heads of Departments is changed 
by its atmosphere, but much of the variation in the de- 
gree of its success can be traced to the differing person- 
alities of Departmental Heads. 

On the Staff Side it is essential that there should be a 
backing of strong associations. Even in the Whitley 
system reason without power does not go far. The 
strongest case has very little weight unless there is the 
chance of organized staff trouble if it is ignored. This 
is very regrettable, but it cannot be helped and the fact 
must be faced. Again enlightened Staff Side leadership 
is very necessary, and once more the differing personal 
qualities of staff personnel have their share in explaining 
the varying fortunes of the system in different Depart- 
ments. 

Apart from all these conditions there are others which 
exist in the Departments where the Councils are specially 
successful and must have much to do with the result. 
Either the staffs are fairly homogeneous, as in the Post 
Office, the Customs and Excise, or the Ministry of 
Labour with Staff Associations co-extensive with the 
Department, or there is a most elaborate Staff Side organ- 
ization to co-ordinate the various interests, as in the 
Admiralty; for every matter dealt with by Staff Sides 
must be thoroughly hammered out in discussion, and 
nothing must be dealt with in the Councils on which 
there are serious unsolved differences of opinion between 
the constituents. The Civil Service, with its innumer- 
able grades and its separate class interests deliberately 
fostered in the past by the Treasury, is in some respects, 
therefore, a more difficult field for Whitleyism than an 
industry having large masses of workers of much the 
same sort. It is a commonplace of Service Whitleyism 
that the hardest battles are often those in Staff Side meet- 
ings, and that the most difficult step in the propaganda 
of a new idea is the securing of its adoption by the Staff 
Sides. 

Where this careful staff organization for purposes of 
the discussion of differences and the co-ordination of 
interests does not exist for any reason, the Whitley 
system works badly. 



IN THE CIVIL SERVICE 33 

SUGGESTED MODIFICATIONS OF COMPOSI- 
TION OF COUNCIL. 

It has already been stated that, according to the 
Whitley constitution, the Government may appoint 
whom it likes to represent it on the Official Side, and that 
in practice it has always chosen the Departmental chiefs. 1 
Suggestions have been made that in some way this 
arrangement gives a free hand to a gang of permanent 
officials to decide their own salaries and their conditions 
of service. It has been urged that though the constitu- 
tion is clearly against any such abrogation of Govern- 
ment authority and control, this fact is not readily 
grasped by the man in the street, and that the appear^ 
ance of collusion is only too easily seized on by those 
hostile to State activity to prejudice the Whitley Coun- 
cil and the whole Civil Service. Accordingly proposals 
have been put forward for the alteration of the composi- 
tion of the Official Side, by introducing a Minister as 
chairman and including Members of Parliament from 
all parties, together with representative business men to 
sit with a minority of permanent officials. Those who 
advocate this change contend that not only would it re- 
move suspicion from the public mind, but that it would 
add to the authority of the Council, would remove 
occasions of delay, and would more completely commit 
the Government to its decisions. Such a Council would, 
it is contended, approximate to the Industrial Councils 
suggested in the Sankey Report* and would supply 
representatives of the State, the workers and the con- 
sumers, while at the same time bringing Parliament into 
close touch with the Service and maintaining its 
authority over the Whitley machinery. 

This contention rests upon an imperfect appreciation 
of the position. In the first place the mere placing of 

1 See Appendix I. 

* The Report of the Royal Commission on the Coal Mines under the 
Presidency of Sir John Sankey whose recommendations have already 
had considerable effect on public opinion, in spite of the refusal of the 
Government to adopt them ; and whose investigations both into the 
condition of the mining industry and into the general problems of the 
administration of nationalized industry must form the basis of all 
further inquiries into the more particular and the more general subject. 
See also The Problem of Nationalization, being the evidence given by 
Lord Haldane before the Coal Commission, published by The Labour 
Publishing Co. Ltd., and George Allen and Unwin Ltd. 



34 THE WHITLEY SYSTEM 

a mixed lot of M.P.'s on a Council where their differing 
political views will tend to cancel out their influence, 
would hardly bring Parliament into a closer relationship 
with the Council, and it would certainly not increase its 
authority over it. What it would do would be to em- 
barrass very seriously the Government of the day in 
exercising control over the Civil Service, for it would 
set up a rival authority to the Cabinet. 

Moreover, a Whitley Council for the Civil Service 
and an Industrial Council to manage an Industry, are 
two vastly different things, for in the one case general 
policy must be excluded from its purview and in the 
other the decision of questions of trade policy must be 
an essential part of its function. It would be difficult to 
imagine a state of affairs in which such functions as 
might be delegated to the Council of a particular indus- 
try could be handed over to one representing the whole 
Civil Service of the country whose operations extend as 
far as the authority of the Government itself. Such 
Industrial Councils might as easily be set up for the 
Post Office as for the Mines, for the Board of Educa- 
tion as for the Railways, but the consideration of such 
a development is outside the range of this paper, and a 
constitution proper to such a development would ob- 
viously be far from proper to the Civil Service as we 
know it. 

The practical difficulties of an Official Side made up in 
this way are in themselves sufficiently formidable. The 
tax on the time of a busy Cabinet Minister would be very 
great, or if it were not, the consequent delays would soon 
reduce the Council to impotence. A Minister in this 
position, unless he were an almost absolute Premier, 
would necessarily be very chary of committing his col- 
leagues, and it would be much more difficult for him 
than for the present Official Side chairman, frankly to 
say that on this or that matter he must consult Ministers ; 
in effect the Official Side would be able to act with little 
more authority than at present. Indeed, it would have 
even less authority, for x it would be peculiarly difficult for 
it to act as a side ; again and again, for example, Labour 
representatives would find themselves in opposition to 
their colleagues and in sympathy with the Staff Side 
representatives. A Whitley Council in which voting 
went by show of hands, in which the Official Side con- 



IN THE CIVIL SERVICE 35 

stantly found itself in a minority through the defection 
of its own members, could not endure for two meetings. 
It is an essential of the working of the system that, how- 
ever free discussion may be, decisions must be taken by 
sides and must be arrived at by agreement between them. 
Compromise is of the essence of the arrangement, and 
each side must make its own compromises before the 
two sides meet. 

There is no need to refer to the disadvantage of dis- 
cussing administrative matters if the Heads of Depart- 
ments concerned are absent, the effect in preventing im- 
mediate adjustments of many grievances is obvious. 
Enough has been said to show that the modifications 
suggested would be far from improving the constitution 
of the Council. 

POSSIBLE DEVELOPMENTS. 

How far can Whitleyism develop in a State Service 
in general and in the present Civil Service in particular ? 
In the case of any great Industrial Service it is clear that 
the original notion of joint control has been much modi- 
fied by the recognition that the consumer must be repre- 
sented. 1 In a State Railway Service or a State Mining 
Service the employer will in effect be the Industrial 
Council representing the State, the workers and the 
consumers. Such a Council will have all and more than 
all -the responsibility of the present Heads of Depart- 
ments, its autonomy would only be subject to direction 

1 A very full discussion of the relation, in the future, between 
National Boards, administering particular collectivized services, and 
the Control Departments, which will be the organs of the Ministers 
of Parliament dealing with those services will be found in A Constitu- 
tion for the Socialist Commonwealth of Great Britain, Part II, Chapters 
II and III. S. and B. Webb. 

The authors think that there will be two sets of employees, e.g., those 
in the Coal Mining Administration, or the Railway or the Post Office 
Administration on the one hand ; and those in the Control Departments 
concerned, like the present Railway and Mines Departments of the 
Board of Trade, and, say, a future Control Department of the Post 
Office, separate from the Post Office Administration. They think that 
the participation of the respective staffs will be different. 

A somewhat similar division exists at the present time between the 
Secretariat and the remaining Staffs of most Departments ; it is so 
fruitful a source of inefficiency and friction as to make one regard any 
differentiation as complete as that suggested by the Webbs with grave 
misgivings. In any case a close liaison between the staffs concerned 
would be necessary, and might best be secured by joint Staff Side 
committees. But the whole matter requires very careful exploration and 
is too big to be dealt with in the present paper. 



36 THE WHITLEY SYSTEM 

by Parliament on the broadest questions of policy. 
Councils of such a sort will hardly be applicable to all 
services, for they depend on the existence of a reason- 
ably defined body of consumers or at least on a fairly 
clear-cut function of consumption, and on the possibility 
of great standardization. There will, therefore, be great 
areas of industry and there will certainly be areas of 
public administration in which no such complete joint 
control will be possible and in which Whitleyism or 
something like it may be expected to operate; moreover 
under the Joint Councils themselves an application of 
iWhitleyism will probably be necessary. In view of 
such developments an examination of the possibilities of 
Whitleyism in the Civil Service will be of some interest ; 
especially since even if an approach to State Socialism 
does not come immediately, the Public Service must be 
carried on and its efficiency is of concern to the whole 
community. 

There are certain indications, as we have shown, as to 
the lines along which the functions of the Whitley Coun- 
cils will develop. Firstly, as regards the efficiency of 
the Service and the production of a true professional 
spirit. Secondly, as regards the discipline of the Ser- 
vice, and finally in respect of the relationship of the Ser- 
vice to the Legislature. 

More and more Departmental Councils will become 
concerned with the technique of their Departments. This 
tendency is obscured where substantial grievances still 
exist, but it is illuminating to notice that in those 
Departments where fairly satisfactory reorganization 
schemes have been agreed and brought into operation, 
the Councils already are devoting much of their atten- 
tion to such matters. So, again, the whole question of 
the further education of the Staff, both technical, 
administrative and cultural must be necessarily in the 
hands of the Councils ; here there are no vested interests- 
to deal with, and practically no official machinery is in 
existence. The possibilities of further education are 
being considered mainly because attention has been 
drawn to them in the setting up of Whitley Councils. 
Every step in the development of those possibilities is 
being taken as a result of the urgings of the Councils 
themselves, and all the machinery necessary to carry on 
that development must be the creation of the Councils. 



IN tHE CIVIL SERVICE 37 

An immense field is here offered for experiment and de- 
velopment into which one Council after another is enter- 
ing. Tentative schemes are already in operation in the 
Ministry of Labour, the Customs- and Excise Depart- 
ment, the Overseas Trade Department, .the Scottish 
Board of Health, the Board of Agriculture, and the 
Inland Revenue Department, while every encourage- 
ment is being given by the Staff Side of the National 
Whitley Council to the institution of similar experiments 
in other Departments. 1 Progress must necessarily be 
slow, especially in view of the financial condition of the 
country, but in a decade or so it may be expected that 
a complete system of further education will be at work. 

Both efficiency and discipline are involved in the ques- 
tions of promotion and of the transfer of personnel from 
one Department to another. Already as has been 
pointed out, the promotion problem has received atten- 
tion. In its first report the Committee on Promotion 
has laid down important principles and has recommended 
the setting up of certain machinery. It has been agreed 
that " the consideration ruling all promotions should 
be the advancement of the efficiency of the public ser- 
vice, and that this can only be secured by determining 
promotions on the ground of fitness." It has been re- 
commended that Promotion Boards should be set up in 
each Department for the purpose of making recommen- 
dations for promotion to the Head of the Department. 
In order that these Boards may arrive at their decisions 
a system of annual reports has been instituted, and the 
Staff Sides of the various Whitley Councils have been 
empowered to make representations in regard to pro- 
motions. 

Thus a general system has been substituted for the 
chaos which hitherto prevailed. It is true that the staffs 
are not represented on the Promotion Boards and thus 
the Whitley Councils do not take over the responsibility 
of the Heads of Departments; on the other hand, the 
principle of joint discussion has been accepted, and this 
is rightly regarded by the Service as being of the utmost 
importance. 

What the eventual developments of the promotion 
system may be it is of course impossible to say, but it 

1 A synopsis of the progress made in the various Departments was 
given in the Whitley Bulletin for February, 1922. 



38 THE WHITLEY SYSTEM 

seems probable that the Whitley Councils will in due 
course take over the scrutiny of the annual reports, and 
will eventually either absorb the Promotion Boards or 
will place a member of the Staff Side on each of them. 
This would make the Councils responsible for recom- 
mendations for promotion without affecting the respon- 
sibility of the Heads of Departments for the actual 
making of promotions. Any further step to make 
Whitley Councils the final promoting authority may 
well follow on the organization of one or two industries 
on the lines suggested in the Sankey Report or the 
Miners' Bill for the Nationalization of the Mines, but it 
cannot precede it and need not be considered here. 

The transfer of personnel from one Department to 
another, and even within Departments from one branch 
to another, has always been attended with the greatest 
difficulty; yet administrators are agreed that the 
flexibility which would result from reasonably free trans- 
fers would be in the interests of the efficiency of the 
Public Service, and any satisfactory system would go 
far to remove the familiar square peg from the round 
hole, the presence of which plays such havoc with Ser- 
vice happiness. It is evident that the solution of this 
problem must be produced by the National Whitley 
Council ; whatever principles may be established and 
whatever machinery may be devised, it is tolerably cer- 
tain that in time the Councils themselves will have a 
considerable share in the operation of the system. 

Again it is generally recognized that the Public Ser- 
vice suffers from too much Departmentalism, that De-' 
partments are too isolated, and that no satisfactory co- 
ordinating agency exists. The remedy or remedies for 
this state of affairs are not easy to find, but already the 
possibilities of the National Council as a co-ordinating 
agency are beginning to be appreciated, and its work 
in this direction is capable of great extension. 

The relationship of the Administration to the Legisla- 
ture is much under discussion. Parliament has no direct 
access to the experts of the Civil Service whose know- 
ledge and advice can only reach Members through the 
mouths of Ministers. The presence of Heads of Depart- 
ments in Committee when measures affecting their De- 
partments are under consideration has been strongly 
advocated. In the event of this advocacy being success- 



IN THE CIVIL SERVICE 39 

ful, the way will be open to an extension of the consulta- 
tion to the Departmental Whitley Councils concerned. 
There would be in this event a distinct departure from 
the constitutional principle which makes Ministers 
solely responsible for policy, but its effect would be to 
transfer a proportion of that responsibility to Parliament 
rather than to the Civil Servant. The business of the 
Civil Servant would be to give information and advice, 
the adoption or rejection of the advice would depend on 
the elected representatives guided by the Cabinet. Any 
consultation of this kind would perhaps accompany or 
pave the way for the adoption of control of industry by 
Joint Councils. 

The conclusion of the whole matter is that Whitleyism 
in the Civil Service has worked, is working and is likely 
to develop. It has dealt with some large and many small 
staff grievances, it has accomplished some very con- 
siderable administrative achievements, and it seems 
destined to have an increasing share in the work of Ser- 
vice administration. At any rate it has demonstrated 
that the old autocratic methods of control are unneces- 
sary, and that it is possible, under certain conditions, to 
secure co-operation between an employing authority and 
the general body of its employees. 



Appendix I 



ABOLITION OF THE CIVIL SERVICE 
ARBITRATION BOARD. 

While this account of the Whitley System in the Civil 
Service was being written I had in mind the existence of 
the Arbitration Board, and the peculiar constitution of the 
Official Side with its purely Service personnel. No hint 
had been given that any change in these two fundamentals 
was contemplated and the MS. was actually in the printers' 
hands when on February 2ist, 1922, the Chairman, Vice- 
Chairman and Secretaries of the National Council were 
summoned to meet the Chancellor of the Exchequer. They 
were then informed that the Cabinet had decided to abolish 
the Arbitration Board and also to alter the composition of 
the Official Side by placing M.P. 's upon it. The announce- 
ment took the Staff representatives completely by surprise. 
It was repeated publicly the next day in the House of Com- 
mons when, in reply to a question, Sir Robert Horne made 
the following statement : " His Majesty's Government have 
been considering this matter. The conditions which led to 
the establishment of the Civil Service Arbitration Board 
some five years ago have been entirely changed by the 
formation of Whitley Councils for the discussion of ques- 
tions affecting the remuneration and conditions of service 
of civil servants; and the Government have come to the 
conclusion that the continuance of the present arrangements 
for compulsory arbitration are inconsistent with, and to 
some extent militate against, the development of these 
Councils on the best lines. They have accordingly decided 
that the time has now come for bringing the present arbi- 
tration arrangements to an end. They have decided, also, 
that under these altered conditions it would be desirable to 
strengthen the National Whitley Council for the Civil Ser- 
vice by the appointment of some Members of this House 
who would form part of the Official Side." 

No mention is made here of the Geddes Report, but the 
following statement from Chapter VIII of the Third Report 
of Committee on National Expenditure must undoubtedly 
be considered in connection with the Government decision : 

" Whatever justification there may have been in time of 
war for setting up such a body (the Civil Service Arbitra- 
tion Board), whose awards are final and who can thus 



THE WHITLEY SYSTEM 41 

authorize expenditure without the authority of the Chan- 
cellor of the Exchequer, we are very strongly of opinion 
that the main justification for the existence of the Board 
has disappeared with the institution of the Whitley Councils 
in the Civil Service. It has now become the established 
practice in the Civil Service to consider on these Whitley 
Councils questions of remuneration . . . and, in these cir- 
cumstances, we are of opinion that the need for a standing 
Arbitration Board no longer exists." 

At the time of writing a number of cases are still out- 
standing before the old Board. No meeting of the full 
Council has yet been held and no definite information is 
available as to the method of selecting the M.P.'s for the 
Official Side. The indication is, however, that a Minister 
will take the chair and that all the M.P.'s will be supporters 
of the Government. 1 Thus there is no actual experience of 
the new conditions. 

I see no reason to vary the judgment I passed in the text 
that some independent tribunal is vital to the proper work- 
ing of the Whitley System, especially in the Civil Service, 
which cannot normally resort to direct action. 

The constitutional issue raised in the Geddes Report is a 
serious one, but it is one that has already been faced else- 
where. The Government, as purchaser or as vendor, is 
constantly submitting to the awards of arbitrators who, in 
effect, " authorize expenditure without the authority of the 
Chancellor of the Exchequer." Clearly the Government as 
employer should submit like any other employer, or like 
itself as a dealer in property, to the decision of an indepen- 
dent tribunal. The old Arbitration Board was set up by 
Cabinet authority and was, perhaps, objectionable as a relic 
of war-time emergency regulations, but any new tribunal 
would, of course, be set up under the authority of Parlia- 
ment. 

It is obvious that the presence of Government M.P.'s on 
the Official Side will not render it more impartial nor re- 
move the need for an Arbitration Board. On the contrary 
it will enormously strengthen the Government as employer 
and will render any appeal to the House of Commons much 
more difficult. 

Sir Robert Home suggested that the existence of the 
Board was inconsistent with and militated against the de- 
velopment of Whitley Councils on the best lines. No doubt 
Staff Sides have at times been rather stiff because of the 
chance of an appeal, but on the other hand on numerous 
occasions the presence of the Board in the background has 

1 On March 23rd, it was announced that three M.P.'s from the 
Government benches would be appointed. 



42 THE WHITLEY SYSTEM 

rendered the Treasury willing to negotiate when otherwise 
it would have sat tight. 

There are those who say that without the Arbitration 
Board Whitleyism is absolutely no use. I do not share 
that extreme view ; but I do think that a Court of Appeal is 
necessary to the proper working of the System, and I am 
convinced that without it the value of Whitleyism will be 
much reduced. Nevertheless, so valuable is the Whitley 
machinery that even should the re-establishment of an in- 
dependent tribunal be considerably delayed, it would be a 
disaster to the Service and to the State if, as a result of this 
attack, it were allowed to be destroyed. 

J. H. M-G. 
March i6th, 1922. 



Appendix II 



List of Departments in which Whitley Councils have been 
established. 



ENGLAND AND SCOTLAND. 



Admiralty. 

Agriculture and Fisheries, 
Ministry of (including 
Ordnance Survey). 

Agriculture, Board of, Scot- 
land. 

Air Ministry. 

*Charity Commissioners. 

Civil Service Commission. 

Colonial Office. 

Commissary Office, H.M. 

Customs and Excise. 

Education, Board of. 

Exchequer and Audit. 

Food, Ministry of. 

Foreign Office. 

Friendly Societies, Registry 
of. 

General Board of Control 
(Scotland). 

Government Chemist. 

Health, Ministry of. 

Health, Scottish Board of. 

Health, Welsh Board of. 

Home Office. 

India Office. 

Insurance Audit Depart- 
ment, National. 

Inland Revenue. 

Labour, Ministry of. 

Land Registry. 

Mint, Royal. 

Munitions, Ministry of. 

Museum, British (including 
Natural History). 



National Debt Office. 

National Gallery. 

National Galleries of Scot- 
land. 

National Gallery of British 
Art. 

Overseas Trade, Dept. of. 

Pensions, Ministry of. 

Paymaster-General. 

Post Office (Administra- 
tive). 

Post Office (Engineering & 
Stores). 

Prison Commission, Scot- 
land. 

Privy Council Office. 

Procurator General and 

, Treasury Solicitor. 

Public Trustee. 

Public Prosecution, Direc- 
tor of. 

Public Works Loan Board. 

Record Office. 

Registrar-General's Office. 

Registry, Principal Probate 

Registrar-General (Scot- 
land). 

Royal Court of Justice and 
Bankruptcy Buildings 
Attendants. 

Registry of Sasine. 

Scientific and Industrial 
Research Dept. 

Science Museum and Vic- 
toria and Albert Museum. 



43 



44 



THE WHITLEY SYSTEM 



Scottish Education Depart- 
ment. 

Scottish Office. 

Shipping, Ministry of. 

Supreme Court Pay Office. 

Stationery Office. 

Supreme Court Offices 
(other than Probate Re- 
gistry and Lunacy Dept.) 



Trade, Board of. 

Treasury. 

Wallace Collection. 

War Office. 

*War Savings Committee 

(National). 
Woods and Forests, Board 

of. 
Works, Office of. 



* Not under the National Council. 



IRELAND. 



Agriculture and Technical 
Instruction (Ireland). 

Congested Districts Board 
(Ireland). 

Dublin Castle Departments. 

Deeds, Registrar of (Dub- 
lin). 

Education Board, Ireland, 
National. 

Education Board, Ireland, 
Intermediate. 

General Valuation and 
Boundary Survey (Ire- 
land). 



Health Insurance Commis- 
sion (Ireland). 

Land Commission, Irish. 

Local Government Board, 
Ireland. 

Metropolitan Police Courts, 
Dublin. 

Public Records Office (Ire- 
land). 

Public Works (Dublin), 
Commission of. 

Treasury Solicitor (Ire- 
land), Office of. 



Appendix III 



Departmental Council of H.M. Customs and Excise Depart- 
ment. 



SECTIONAL AND GRADE COMMITTEES. 



S. Outdoor Service. 

S. Waterguard. 

S. Temporary Staffs. 

G. Controlling Grade. 

G. Surveyors. 

G. Officers. 

G. Waterguard Superin- 
tendents and Chief Pre- 
ventive Officers. 



G. Preventive Officers. 
G. Preventive Men. 
G. Launch Services. 
G. Watchers. 

G. Temporary Women Pen- 
sion Officers. 



OFFICE COMMITTEES. 



Secretaries. 
Chief Inspectors. 
Statistical. 
A. & C. Gs. 



Solicitors. 
Office Keepers. 
Stores Branch. 



LOCAL COMMITTEES. 



Bangor. 

Bath. 

Birmingham. 

Bolton. 

Bradford. 

Brighton. 

Bristol. 

Burton. 

Cambridge. 

Cardiff. 

Carlisle. 

Chester. 

Croydon. 

Derby. 

Douglas. 



Dover. 

Exeter. 

Grimsby. 

Harwich. 

Hereford. 

Hull. 

Ipswich. 

Leeds. 

Leicester. 

Liverpool (Customs). 

Liverpool (Excise). 

London (Central). 

London (North). 

London (South). 

London (West). 



45 



46 THE WHITLEY SYSTEM 

London (Long Room). Portsmouth. 

London (Port). Preston. 

London (Waterguard). Reading. 

Manchester. Sheffield. 

Middlesbrough. Southampton. 

Newcastle. Sunderland. 

Newhaven. Swansea. 

Newport (Mon.) Weymouth. 

Northampton. Wolverhampton. 

Norwich. Worcester. 

Nottingham. York. 
Plymouth. 



SCOTLAND. 

Aberdeen. Glasgow (Excise). 

Campbeltown. Greenock. 

Dumfries. Inverness. 

Dundee. Leith. 

Edinburgh. Perth. 

Elgin. Stirling. 
Glasgow (Customs). 



IRELAND. 

Belfast. Galway. 

Cork. Limerick. 

Dublin. Londonderry. 

Dundalk. Waterford. 



Bibliography 



A Constitution for the Socialist Commonwealth of Great 
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Awards and Agreements of the Civil Service Arbitration 
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Civil Service National Whitley Council. 
Committee on Promotion. First Report. 
Committee on the further Education of Civil Servants. 

Interim Report and Second Report. 
Reorganization Committee. Final Report. 
Report of the Joint Committee on the Organization of the 
Civil Service. 

Civil Service Whitley. Report of Lecture, by J. H. Macrae- 
Gibson. The Civilian, April gth, 1921. 

Committee on National Expenditure, ist, 2nd and final re- 
ports. Cmd. 1581 2. 3. 

From Patronage to Proficiency in the Public Service, by 
W. A. Robson. 

History of Trade Unionism. 2nd Edition, by Sidney and 
Beatrice Webb (1920). 

Joint Industrial Councils Bulletin. Published by Miniistry of 
Labour. 

Labour and Capital After the War. Edited by Sir S. J. 
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Report of the National Provisional Joint Committee on the 
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Departments of the Civil Service (Cmd. 198). 

Report of the Royal Commission on the Civil Service (Cd. 
6209/10, 6534/5, 6739/40, 7338/40). 

Report of the Royal Commission on the Coal Mines. 

The Civil Service Compendium. 'By W. J. Brown. Published 
by Clerical Officers' Association. 

The Employers' Year Book. May, 1920. 

The Government of England. By A. Lawrence Lowell. 

The Greedy Civil Servant. Article by J. H. Macrae-Gibson. 
The Civilian, May 2ist, 1921. 

The Whitley System Explained. By S. Donald Cox. 

Whitley at the Cross Roads. Articles by J. H. Macrae- 
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Whitleyism on its Trial. By W. J. Brown. 

PRINTED BY GARDEN CITY PRESS, LETCHWORTH, ENGLAND. 




THE FABIAN SOCIETY 

25, TOTHILL STREET, WESTMINSTER, LONDON, S.W.I. 

Those willing to join the Labour Party, or desirous of obtaining information about 
its Programme and Principles, are invited to communicate with the Secretary of the 
Fabian Society. 

The Fabian Society has been, from the outset, a constituent body of the Labour 
Party ; and membership of the Society carries with it full membership of the Labour 
Party, eligibility for nomination to all Conferences and Offices, and qualification for 
Labour Party candidatures for Parliament and Local Authorities, without obligation 
to ^belong to any other organization. 

The Society welcomes as members any persons, men or women, wherever resident, 
who subscribe to its Basis (set forth below), and who will co-operate in its work accord- 
ing to their opportunities. 

BASIS OF THE FABIAN SOCIETY. 

(TO BE SIGNED BY ALL MEMBERS.) 

(Adopted May 23rd, 1919.) 
The Fabian Society consists of Socialists. 

It therefore aims at the reorganization of Society by the emancipation of Land and 
Industrial Capital from individual ownership, and the vesting of them in the com- 
munity for the general benefit. In this way only can the natural and acquired 
advantages of the country be equitably shared by the whole people. 

The Society accordingly works for the extinction of private property in land, with 
equitable consideration of established expectations, and due provision as to the 
tenure of the home and the homestead ; for the transfer to the community, by con- 
stitutional methods, of all such industries as can be conducted socially ; and for the 
establishment, as the governing consideration in the regulation of production, distri- 
bution and service, of the common good instead of private profit. 

The Society is a constituent of the Labour Party and of the International Socialist 
Congress ; but it takes part freely in all constitutional movements, social, economic 
and political, which can be guided towards its own objects. Its direct business is (a) 
the propaganda of Socialism in its application to current problems ; (b) investigation 
and discovery in social, industrial, political and economic relations ; (c) the working 
out of Socialist principles in legislation and administrative reconstruction ; (d) the 
publication of the results of its investigations and their practical lessons. 

The Society, believing in equal citizenship of men and women in the fullest sense, is 
open to persons irrespective of sex, race or creed, who commit themselves to its aims 
and purposes as stated above, and undertake to promote its work. 
The Society includes : 

I. Members, who must sign the Basis and be elected by the Committee. Their Subscriptions are 
not nxed ; each is expected to subscribe annually according to his means. They control the 
Society through the Executive Committee (elected annually by ballot through a postal vote), 
and at its annual and other business meetings. 

II. Associates, who sign a form expressing only general sympathy with the objects of the Society 
and pay not less than zos. a year. They can attend all except the exclusively members' meet- 
ings, but have no control over the Society and its policy. 
III. Subscribers, who must pay at least ss. a year, and who can attend the Society s Ordinary 

Lectures. 

The monthly paper, Fabian News, and the Tracts from time to time published in 
the well-known Fabian Series, are posted to all these classes. There are convenient 
Common Rooms, where light refreshments can be obtained, with an extensive 
library for the free use of members only. 

Among the Society's activities (in which it places its services unreservedly at the 
disposal of the Labour Party and the Local Labour Parties all over the country, the 
Trade Unions and Trades Councils, and all other Labour and Socialist organizations), 
may be mentioned : 

(i.) Free lectures by its members and officers ; 

(ii ) The well-known Fabian Book-boxes, each containing about three dozen of the best books on 
Economics, Politics and Social Problems, which can be obtained by any organization of men 
or women for 155. per annum, covering an exchange of books every three months ; 

(Jii.) Answers to Questions from Members of Local Authorities and others on legal, technical or 
political matters of Local Government, etc. ; 

(iv.) Special subscription courses of lectures on new developments in thought ; 

(v.) Economic and social investigation and research, and publication of the results. 

Lists of Publications, Annual Report, Form ol Application as Member or Associate, 
and any other information can be obtained on application personally or by letter to the 
Secretary at the above address. 



FABIAN PUBLICATIONS 

FABIAN ESSAYS. (1920 Edition.) as. 6d. ; postage sd. 
WHAT TO READ on Social and Economic Subjects. 23. net ; postage 3d. 
TOWARDS SOCIAL DEMOCRACY? By SIDNEY WEBB. is. net; postage ad. 
FROM PATRONAGE TO PROFICIENCY IN THE PUBLIC SERVICE. By W. A. 

ROBSON. is. net ; postage 2d. 

THIS MISERY OF BOOTS. By H. G. WELLS. 6d. ; post free, 7d. 
SOCIALISM AND CHARACTER. By HENRY STURT. 73. 6d. ; postage 5d. 
EARL MARX. By HAROLD J. LASKI. is. ; postage 2d. 

FABIAN TRACTS and LEAFLETS. 

Tracts, each 16 to 52 pp., price id., or gd. per doz., unless otherwise stated. 

Leaflets, 4 pp. each, price i.d. for three copies, zs. per 100, or aos. per 1000. 
The Set of 74, 7s. 6d. ; post free, 8s. 6d. Bound in buckram, 12s. 6d.; post free, 13s. 6d. 

I. General Socialism in its various aspects. 

TRACTS. 192. Guild Socialism. By G. D. COLE, M.A. 180. The Philosophy of 
Socialism. By A. CLUTTON BROCK. 169. The Socialist Movement in Germany. 
By W. STEPHEN SANDERS, ad. 159. The Necessary Basis of Society. By 
SIDNEY WEBB. 151. The Point of Honour. By RUTH C. BENTINCK. 147. 
Capital and Compensation. By E. R. PEASE. 146. Socialism and Superior Brains. 
By BERNARD SHAW. 2d. 142. Rent and Value. 138. Municipal Trading. 
121. Public Services. Private Expenditure. By Sir OLIVER LODGE, ad. 107. Social- 
ism for Millionaires. By BERNARD SHAW. 139. Socialism and the Churches. By 
Rev. JOHN CLIFFORD. D.D. 133. Socialism and Christianity. By Rev. PERCY 
DEARMER. ad. 78. Socialism and the Teaching of Christ. By Dr. J. CLIFFORD. 
42. Christian Socialism. By Rev. S. D. HEADLAM. 79. A Word of Remembrance 
and Caution to the Rich. By JOHN WOOLMAN. 72. The Moral Aspects of Socialism. 
By SIDNEY BALL. ad. 69. Difficulties of Individualism. By SIDNEY WEBB. 
51. Socialism: True and False. By SIDNEY WEBB. 45. The Impossibilities of 
Anarchism. By G. B. SHAW. ad. 7. Capital and Land. 5- Facts for Socialists. 
3d. LEAFLETS. 13. What Socialism Is. i. Why are the Many Poor? 

II. Applications of Socialism to Particular Problems. 

TRACTS. 196. The Root of Labour Unrest. By SIDNEY WEBB. ad. 195. The 
Scandal of the Poor Law. By C. M. ,LLOYD. ad. 194. Taxes, Rates and Local 
Income Tax. By ROBERT JONES. D.Sc. ad. 188. National Finance and a Levy 
on Capital. By SIDNEY WEBB. ad. 187. The Teacher in Politics. By SIDNEY 
WEBB. ad. 186. Central Africa and the League of Nations. By R. C. HAWKIN. 
ad. 183. The Reform of the House of Lords. By SIDNEY WEBB. 181. When 
Peace Comes the Way of Industrial Reconstruction. By SIDNEY WEBB. ad. 
178. The War; Women; and Unemployment, ad. 177. Socialism and the 
Arts of Use. By A. CLUTTON BROCK. 175. The Economic Foundations of the 
Women's Movement, ad. 173. Public v. Private Electricity Supply. 170. Profit- 
sharing and Co-partnership : a Fraud and Failure P 164. Gold and State Banking. 
162. Family Life on a Pound a Week. By Mrs. REEVES, ad. 161. Afforestation 
and Unemployment. 155- The Case against the Referendum. 154- The Case for 
School Clinics. 152. Our Taxes as they are and as they ought to be. ad. 145. 
The Case for School Nurseries. 140. Child Labor under Capitalism. 136. The 
Village and the Landlord. By EDW. CARPENTER. 144. Machinery : its Masters 
and Servants. 122. Municipal Milk and Public Health. 124. State Control of 
Trusts. LEAFLET. 104. How Trade Unions benefit Workmen. 

III. Local Government Powers: How to use them. 

TRACTS. -igo. Metropolitan Borough Councils: Their Constitution, Powers and 
Duties. By C. R. ATTLEE, M.A. ad. 191. Borough Councils: Their Constitution, 
Powers and Duties. By C. R. ATTLEE, M.A. ad. 193. Housing. By C. M. LLOYD, 
M.A. 3d. 189. Urban District Councils. By C. M. LLOYD, M.A. 2d. 62. Parish 
and District Councils. (Revised 1919.) ad. 137. Parish Councils and Village 
Life. LEAFLETS. 134. Small Holdings. 68. The Tenant's Sanitary Catechism. 
71. Ditto for London. 

IV. General Politics and Fabian Policy. 

TRACTS. 158. The Case against the C.O.S. By Mrs. TOWNSHEND. 41. The Fabian 
Society : its Early History. By BERNARD SHAW. 

V. Biographical Series. In portrait covers, 2d. and 3d. 

182. Robert Owen, Idealist. By C. E. M. JOAD. 179. John Ruskin and Social 
Ethics. By Prof. EDITH MORLEY. 165. Francis Place. By ST. JOHN G. ERVINE. 
3d. 1 66. Robert Owen, Social Reformer. By Miss B. L. HUTCHINS. 167. William 
Morris and the Communist Ideal. By Mrs. TOWNSHEND. 3d. 168. John Stuart 
Mill. By JULIUS WEST. sd. 174. Charles Kingsley and Christian Socialism. 
By C. E. VULLIAMY. 



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